Paul Babeu, Embattled Pinal County Sheriff, Struggles to Remain a Relevant Political Figure

Earlier this month, the L.A. Times reported that "federal agents stopped the main target of the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious in May 2010" but released him after questioning and "he disappeared back into Mexico, and the program went on to spiral out of control."

It was a stunning revelation, and one that everyone would have expected embattled Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to weigh in on -- given that blasting the Obama Administration over the blundered Operation Fast and Furious had become a hallmark of his political stumping.

So, the go-to guy on all things Fast and Furious made an appearance on CNN? Fox News?

No. In fact, we couldn't find any recent national interviews from Babeu on Fast and Furious, a failed operation in which the feds observed the sale of high-powered weapons in hopes of tracing them back to drug cartel leaders

Or on anything else -- except, of course, his recent troubles over apparently threatening his Mexican gay lover.

It's a curious silence considering his friends at Fox News dubbed him "Famed Arizona Sheriff and "Fast & Furious" Critic" last year during an interview.

But in a clever move to make it look like the embattled sheriff still is a relevant political figure, Team Babeu put up a CNN video from September 2011 on his official Pinal County Sheriff's Office website. It just sits there without any reference to a date, or any explanation.

(And, an official county website seems like an odd place for the video, which is right above local news about stuff like the PCSO K-9 unit at a public event. Did Team Babeu mean to post the video on his official county website? Or was it intended for his campaign website?)

Despite dozens of appearances on national television, namely Fox News, in 2010 and 2011, it doesn't look like that network, or any others, want to have him back to share his views about Operation Fast and Furious. Or anything else... except you know what.

At least not since New Times first reported that you know what -- that Babeu's ex-boyfriend, a Mexican national with questionable immigration status, accused the sheriff and his attorney of threatening him with deportation.

Or since New Times and other media outlets exposed details of physical and sexual abuse that took place a Massachusetts boarding school, including during the time Babeu served as its executive director and headmaster.

Or since Babeu's sister, Lucy, and students from DeSisto School spoke publicly about an alleged relationship that Babeu had with a 17-year-old boy from the school.

Instead, Babeu posted a comment about the latest Fast and Furious news on his campaign website on March 20, and then he tweeted about it. But, it doesn't look like he got any traction.

Meanwhile, Congressman Paul Gosar, running against Babeu for a seat in Arizona's über-conservative Fourth Congressional District, made an appearance on -- and Babeu used to be a regular on that show.

In all fairness, Babeu has continued speaking publicly about the botched operation. In fact, he spoke on Wednesday about it to the measly Yuma County Republican Women's Club (how the mighty fall). He was the keynote speaker for their gathering at the dusty desert burg's Desert Hills Golf Course.